Alex Gersbach and Luke Wilkshire never played together.
"I’ve just got to make sure I get this next part of my career right," he said back in 2017, "because there’s so much riding on it."
While some things change, some things stay the same.
But as Gersbach looks towards the next chapter of his career, which will make or break the potential he strutted so confidently at the beginning, he can perhaps look to Wilkshire with a slightly greater context.
Nearing the very end of his career, after a series of phenomenal accomplishments, Wilkshire was also ending a spell in the Eredivisie. He could have commanded lucrative opportunities to return home, likewise across Asia.
But rather than rest on his laurels and succumb to an easy retirement, Wilkshire snatched at the hardest challenge he could find - a move to Terek Grozny is the contested Russian region of Chechnya, a city the United Nations once branded as 'the most destroyed in the world'.
Nothing comes easy to Australian footballers. It’s the perseverance that counts.
“If you told me five years ago I could've achieved what I've done, I would've thought it wasn't even possible,” Wilkshire once told FTBL.
“But I always dreamed of it and believed I could do it…at times you don't know, in football, you need a break and maybe that one break, you take your chances.
“But it didn't all just land on a plate, it takes time.”